Pohjola is a location in Finnish mythology, referring to Pohja (North), as a point of the compass, the Northland — the whole polar region, and in the world of the Kalevala, the land of the Sami.
In the real world Pohjola includes parts of Lapland and ancient Kainuu. Pohjola can also be thought of as purely a mythical place, the source of evil — a foreboding, forever cold land far in the north. Diseases and frost possibly derive from this Pohjola. Pohjola is the enemy of Väinölä — the land of Kalevala.
In the mythology, the Mistress of Pohjola is Louhi, an evil witch of great power. The great smith Seppo Ilmarinen forges Sampo at her behest and brings it to her in payment for the hand of her daughter in marriage. The Sampo is a magic mill of plenty alike Cornucopia, which churns out abundance for the people of Pohjola, but its churning lid is a symbol of the celestial vault of the heavens, embedded with stars, revolving about a central axis or pillar of the world. Other Kalevala characters also sought marriage from the daughters of Pohjola. These include the adventurer Lemminkäinen and the great wise man Väinämöinen. Louhi demanded miracles similar to the forging of Sampo from them, such as shooting the Swan of Tuonela. When the proposer finally would get the daughter, weddings and great drinking and eating parties were to be held at the great hall of Pohjola.
The foundation of the pillar of the world, the root of this "world tree", was located, from the Finnish mythological perspective, somewhere just over the northern horizon, in Pohjola. The forging and hoarding of the Sampo and its abundance by the witch Louhi inside a great mountain in the dark reaches of Pohjola; the struggle and war by the people of the south to free the Sampo and capture it for their own needs and the subsequent smashing of the Sampo and the loss of its all-important lid (which implies the breaking of the world tree at the north pole) together constitute the bulk of the Kalevala material.